Happy to be Home: Gavin Edwards Returns Stateside with the Armor

by Terrence Payne

The Springfield Armor suffered a tough 97-94 loss to the Dakota Wizards Sunday night at home (Click HERE for highlights). After the game, in the locker room, the players huddled around a television as they watched the end of the NFC playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The players turned it on just in time for the Eagles’ final drive. Eagles' quarterback Michael Vick looked to the end zone and threw a pass for wide receiver Riley Cooper, but Packers cornerback Tramon Williams intercepted the pass, securing a victory for Green Bay.

A few Armor players roared with excitement, while others were stunned by the outcome. But for newly acquired forward Gavin Edwards, he watched from his locker, quietly enjoying the game. Watching football is just a simple reminder of how nice it is to be home.

Before joining the Armor on December 22, Edwards had spent two different stints playing overseas, first in South Korea and more recently in Ukraine.

Edwards admits the adjustment of playing overseas was a difficult one. “It’s kind of a culture shock the first two, three weeks,” said the Gilbert, Ariz. native. “But you kind of get the hang of things.”

Despite going undrafted, Edwards played for the Phoenix Suns’ Las Vegas Summer League team, along with Armor point guard Scottie Reynolds. After that, Edwards joined the KT&G Kites of the Korean Basketball League.

Edwards played in only 7 games, averaging 5.1 points and grabbing 2.4 rebounds per game.

“Everything is different, the rules are different, even the basketball,” Edwards said.

But Edwards indicated that he was able to adapt easily. “I handled it pretty well,” Edwards said. “You have to go in with an open mind.”

Less than a week after leaving South Korea, Edwards headed to Ukraine to play for Khimik-OPZ Yunzy of the Ukraine Basketball Super League. Edwards only played in 3 games before returning home.

Soon after returning home, Edwards’ agent facilitated Edwards’ placement in the NBA D-League’s Available Player Pool and Springfield was quick to acquire the 6-foot-9 230 pound forward.

For Edwards, it was an easy decision to return to the United States to play basketball. “It was the best choice for me,” said the former UConn Husky. “I just wanted to get back to the kind of basketball I wanted to be playing.”

And Edwards is happy to be back. “It’s real nice. Eating good food all the time and being around people that speak the same language. You kind of take that for granted when you’re over there,” he said.

Springfield is happy to have him as well. Edwards has added depth and versatility to the front court. Edwards is able to be a low post presence as well as stretch the defense with his outside shooting.

In his short time in Springfield, Edwards has made an impact, averaging 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds a game in 7 games for the Armor. Edwards has made contributions mostly from the bench, but got his first two starts earlier this week against the New Mexico Thunderbirds.

During the cold, bitter winter, it’s rare to find anyone who is happy to be in New England, but after all he’s been through, Gavin Edwards is happy to be where he’s at. “It’s good to be back,” he said with a smile.